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Bob Drury Education. (2011) Bob Drury ('Last Men Out The True Story of America's Heroic Final Hours in Vietnam.')

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Saigon 20, Vietnam 10, Valdez 9, South Vietnam 8, Steve 8, United States 6, Us 6, Mike Sullivan 5, Charles Mcmahon 4, Jim Keane 4, Bobby 4, Kissinger 4, Gerald Ford 3, Danang 3, Deng 3, Paris 3, Jerry Berry 2, Nixon 2, Washington 2, Johnny Walker 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Bob Drury  Education.  (2011) Bob Drury ('Last Men Out  
   The True Story of America's Heroic Final Hours in Vietnam.')  

    July 4, 2011
    4:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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>> good evening, everyone and welcome. you may know that we're in the the 21st year and we think it's an extraordinary bookstore, especially in these times. we know it's a busy world out there so we're glad you're here. time and again, to hear from customers and visitors of all kinds that it is events like these that bring authors from all points of the spectrum to this spot, to this community that makes it so special. "last men out" is the book we are here to introduce. i thought i'd begin center by saying that my daughter is ho chi minh city now. i skype with her this morning. she's a recent college graduate, english major, and she is in
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saigon to teach english. as you might imagine it's an extraordinary experience for a young woman, i'm very proud of her because it is all her doing. i hadn't no say in it whatsoever. she got herself there on her own dime, and she is about two months in. spoke with her this morning, as i say, on skype, so pretty cool to hear her. i asked her last week to visit the reunification museum, and she had already been there once, has now spent a whole lot of time, went back and in a nutshell here is a report. it was eerie. the reunification palace, a.k.a. independence palace, is pretty much exactly the way it was in
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april 1975. and so to go through it with a vietnamese two or later, tour guide, and to see inside those walls and to hear those stories was an extraordinary spirit for her. yes, it was eerie. she was the only american in the group. there were other tourist. a pretty good number she said from all over the world. our last comment was that they said almost nothing about the war itself, was really all focused on the presidential succession and what a taken place inside that building. so that's the point of departure for me. the only other thing i would like to say in an introducing bob is i'm guessing that most of you in this room know this story much better than i do, and i
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know just from some of you who came in this evening that you lived at this story. i was blown away by the detail in this book. it does read like a thriller. it's true. how did bob and his co-authors know what went on almost hour by hour, inside the heads of the men who lived it? he didn't make it up. this as you will see in the afterwards and in the bibliography of the book, it is based on extraordinary resourceful reporting and interviewing other people who were there. so it's a real pleasure to introduce bob drury, author of "last men out." >> thanks, john. thank you. [applause] spent and i thanked her
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communist daughter also. [laughter] thanks for coming out tonight folks. i appreciate it. i've been here before big it's always a pleasure to be here at r.j. julia. i was here four years ago i think. tom clavin and i wrote together. i think tom was here two years ago for "the last stand of fox company." i think i may even recognize some of your faces in here. in fact, scheduled to be here but i wanted him to be her so badly that i trade him off. i trade him to discriminate your library or so again i say thank you. i like being here. for those people who do know our previous books, art previous collaborations, as you probably know tom and i would like to chronicle the adventures of ordinary men and extra ordinary circumstances. i like reading about generals as much as the next guy, but it is
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patent, i to come. the great, napoleon. whether it is montgomery. not so much montgomery. he is a great and i'm a good irishman. maybe we'll substitute. but i think you get my drift. but as much as i like reading about these great men, what i like writing about, what tom and i like researching about is the ordinary grunts. and if you going to spend several years delving into a situation into the lives of whether it's people who are on a destroyer, which is "halsey's typhoon" or and held the hill in korea when it was 40 below and are outnumbered, 15,000 to one, or was it was a group of young men in saigon in 1975 who held it together when all hell was breaking across, that's one in particular this book "last men out" was really such a pleasure to research, to report, to interview. the writing, you know, that's a
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pain but the writing is always a pain and that's the end result of having fun doing all this other stuff. also there is some scary ending in our our last two books, not to say there isn't scary in the story of the fall of saigon. there is and there are brave young men who did not come home alive from that fall of saigon. but they didn't make it out of that chaos. but we feel that "last men out," it's one of our best characters. and the men that we interviewed, the reports we read, the oral histories we delved into, it painted such a wonderful picture, and perhaps wonderful is not the right adjective. painted such a vivid picture of what was happening in these past 36 hours, as the city of saigon and the nation of the republic
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of vietnam, south vietnam fell apart. now, as i said this is kind of a tick-tock book of the last 36 hours, but i think i need to keep akron. so what happens as i'm sure some of you know very well, in 1973, the united states south vietnam and north vietnam, the democratic republican side in paris peace accord. according to those, everybody hoped and wished, especially the united states that we're going to have another korea situation, that is going to be a country divided into. is going to be a tmz, would've. the north vietnamese never had any idea of standing by these of course but they are constantly probing. they were even allowed to leave men, construction workers on the so of the republic of vietnam. finally, in the fall of 1974, led by a charismatic and
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strategic and tactical genius, and a for joy genius, they decided to invade. they broke the paris peace accords and we knew they were doing this. we have satellites. we have photos. with everything. that congress was just so sick of the work, we were out, we had men, marine security guards at consular, at the provincial counselors. we had a platoon or a half a platoon in psycho. we have some advisors and. we were in the middle of the depression here in the united states. are recession, i'm sorry. we just didn't want to spend anymore money. we just wanted to wipe our hands. he didn't like it. he broke it first. sitting out scout teams. sing out small combat units. they met with no resistance. the south vietnamese army, the army of the republic of vietnam fell apart. they are officers deserted.
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men were left leaderless. nowhere to go. did not know what to do. what happened was is after a while general deng said you know what? the americans are going to do anything. he was expecting a b-52 strike. it never came. so gradually he picked up speed and he picked up speed. in the north vietnamese army, 150,000 men, more than 150,000 men flew through south vietnam like the mississippi right now is sluicing through the gates that it is overrun. a beautiful little port city of half among people became a swollen, seething cauldron of deserters, retrievers, civilians on the road. the roads were, as the south in these soldiers retreated, they
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raped and looted and civilians. they were so scared about what the godless commies were going to do to us. danang came this swollen city. and, finally, decided we have to get people out of your. what we try to do is we try to ease back and helicopter out of danang. fell apart in the league in large part because her own allies, our former allies that we are cutting and running, which we were. and started firing on the american aircraft coming in. the marine security guard unit, small unit in danang almost got into several firefights with their ostensible allies until they were finally snuck out of the back of the garbage truck. finally, a sea lift was instituted. they took as many boats, barges, ships as they could and sent them up there and it became a total mess. women were tossing their babies into the water. they were boarding fishing boats, thrown civilians overboard, old men and old
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women. it was just, it was ugly. there were no commanders, no south vietnam commanders to keep any kind of order. we learn something from da nang and that was a sea lift from anywhere else will be kind of dicey. so now general deng hadn't planned on taking saigon until perhaps late in 1975 pick the most likely in 1976 after the rainy season. if you use, he finds himself, start in late 1974 you can early april, 1975 he finds himself with an army of 150,000 people in circling saigon. is going back and forth with a. he was a smart man. even a soldier accused only member who was born a peasant to use a soldier of the soil he liked to call himself. he was an athletic man. if i knew how to work the clicker i would show you a photo
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of him. made i will later. [laughter] but he knew that that was the time to strike. it was just what were the americans going to do, the americans in saigon. as i said there was this marine security guard, the tide but it was only a time, between 50 and 60 people. and three days before the seventh fleet which is cruising the waters of south vietnam in the south china sea. they sent in a platoon of fleet marines. early reaction commando type. they came in wearing leisure -- according to the paris peace accord they were not allowed to ask about a soldier in south vietnam and msg bring much to cut the cord so they sent 50 young men wearing leisure suits and turned their guns and uniforms in duffel bags. i remember the nco in charge of the msg insights i can't, that's for going to fool the north vietnamese. so we got saigon and is all kinds american still in the. not on civilians but state
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department, cia, army advisors, air force advisors, navy advisors. the two main players in saigon right now are the ambassador, graham martin, eloquent man, tall, shocking, shocking want here. always had a cigarette dangling from his lips. unfortunately, he was a young man, whose only in his late '50s but he looked about 75 because he was physically sick. he had walking pneumonia. and he was under the mental stress that i just can't imagine being under. not on the walking pneumonia. he was taking drugs for old car accident and he was deluded when i see delivered i'm not trying to be pejorative but he thought he was the only man. he was the ambassador. he thought he was the only man who could cut a deal with the north vietnamese, who are slowly but surely encircling saigon. and he would not call for any
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kind of evacuation because he thought our deal was imminent. his powers of diplomacy were going to cut a deal with the north vietnamese. he was going to use the russians to put pressure on hanoi. and it was delusional. so his counterfoil, so to speak was made to jim keet, a marine major. he was in charge of the msg the tidings from new delhi to tokyo. but, of course, the saigon with the biggest msg at the time to could have the most marines. even more than moscow. it was considered a combat zone in the 1973, our peace courts were no lot at work is still considered a combat post. so jim keane and his top master sergeant, his noncommissioned officer in charge of these msg, they tried everything they could to dissuade ambassador martin
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from trying, to continue using key what ago she. he said we've got to get this evacuation going. evacuation was like plan c. plan a was every aircraft from every airfield in south vietnam. they were counting on -- boom, those airfields are gone. there's one left in her hands. so plan b was an evacuation by c. but we saw what happened in donning. it was a cluster home. and that's not the word the marines use. it was a cluster home. plus the navy, the north in his head cut off access to the coso quickly, quickly than we had expected. and we said we can't start another war. congress is not going to fundamental. they would also be splintered if i get down to we've got to send helicopters in. had a good one at 50 helicopter
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sitting on the seventh fleet. but ambassador martin would not send them in. he kept this delusion that he could negotiate a peace. so finally enough is enough for general and he thinks he's going to poke a little stick at the americans to get them a quick of the casinos once the americans go he's got the country. he saw what happened to the fourth largest army. south vietnam at the fourth largest army in the war but he went through it like you know what through a goose. he saw what happened up northeast. he then going to take saigon. in their stripped down in the breadbasket but i'm just going to encircle them and take them the same way. get these americans out of here. i don't want to start another war. i will ever have to. he hated us. but my orders are don't start another war. so before the warrant of -- the morning of april 29, the ambassador mark had ordered jim keane to split his msg detachment. he said i need extra people out
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at the airport. is a defense next to the airport, adjacent to the airport. is where we had run everything during the vietnam war. westmoreland was stationed there. all the big generals were stationed there. it was still the same building but it just advisors. and he said i need men out because he forgot to a helicopter evacuation, it's got to be from the dl, this defense attack shape office adjacent to the airport. so he said i can't put my commit. i would have 55 people. i can't put my command. there's something about the msgs, the only branch of the marine corps that takes the orders from civilian. they are not in the normal chain of command. so what the state department says usually through a regional security officer, and rso stationed at the embassy, and the rso said send about the. ambassador wants them out there, sending out the. so he said we've got to send 16 guys out there. you pick them. don't get any of my new in
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trouble. to a couple of kids who had just come into south vietnam. wonderful and a week or another on a couple of months. valdez is thinking, the north vietnamese want us out of saigon so badly they will never bomb the airport. i'm going to send all my inexpensive newbies out there. before dawn on the morning of april 29, general deng rocketed and shelled the airport with heavy artillery. there were like 6000 rockets and shells landing. one of those shells landed right across -- i told you i did not to work this. but one of those shells landed right on a guard post. there was general deng, there's the ambassador. i have a 14 year-old son. that's what this guy looks like. there's the corporal. charles mcmahon, unser. they were many guard post.
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dead. they run out in the morning. he gets into with an army general out there. the airfields are now, you can't land a fixed wing. they are traitors. and martin still in his delusional state, we can fix this. start getting the c-130s any. he gets back to the embassy and he finds jim keane knows his tomb in our day. these two kids. and he says i don't want you to report this to the marine corps, chain of command. the majors is what you mean? he said you take orders for me. if they find that these guys are dead they will pull the plug on the. he is thinking pull the plug on you? the plug is already pulled. the plug is pulled for charles mcmahon. that's when he realized he could not directly disobeyed an order from the ambassador. but he and valdez would have to manage this evacuation with the marines they had on hand.
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so, if i could, let me their author and it will tell you a little bit about these marines. again, they don't take orders -- they are not in the marine corps chain of command. they take orders from civilians. and aside from valdez to serve as an amtrak platoon leader during the war in did not, jim keane said in an artillery man and a scout during the war in the non. and they staff sergeant named mike sullivan had served as called in the range patrols, the artillery to him. and those were the only three men who at any expense with the war. the rest of these guys were ki kids. and -- i ought to see can't go through all of them, but i mean just some of them, big john, big bad john from boston. may be the strongest in the outfit.
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when he heard charles mcmahon 40 to 40 got killed him when he heard him in saigon, he had his chatter action, he took him under his wing. he was brokenhearted when he sent him out and he got killed. bobby, bobby beautiful. every time i look at the name unless he's my favorite character but then i see the next one. they call him bobby beautiful. back when saigon was common towns, a lot of the doctors and sisters, even some otherwise of american civilians working in the embassy would come in and there was a cro, which was like a pool and a little store at a liquor store. and anybody would end up within the embassy compound, and all these gals would always end up there. and robbie had this sixth sense. before word got around there's a hot babe in, bobby was beat out by the pool. it would be a for -- before six
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pack abs were fashionable but he had been. they called him bobby beautiful. the black market king, another guy, short little guy. funny guy. he could get you, if you wanted a chinese sword, if you wanted a french hooker, if you wanted a new carburetor for the motor pool, the black market king could get it for you. and he had this rough exterior. he thought i don't make deals, i don't make deals. but when ever anyone was in trouble and everyone short of money, he would say hey, you go. this will tide you over until next payday. there's a guy from right up your neighborhood, steve. steve was from somers, connecticut. he might've been the most in shape guy. they called him the pt king. he lived on a farm, grew up on a farm. shooting little critters out in the woods behind his shack. his whole life all you want to
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do was join force recon which is the marine special forces. and he envisioned himself crawling through the jungles fighting in vietnam. by the time he got old enough, the marines, the war was over. so the next best thing was when he got pulled as an msg. what happened to his commanders take the top 1%, less than 1% of the marine corps. the company commanders take, they plucked the top guys in their units and they sent them, they have to go through a selection process. if they get to msg school, this to a 30 or 40% attrition rate. so these guys are kids. but they are tough kids and they are smart kids and their dedicated kids. even mike sullivan who was as much of the key. he's the one who fought in vietnam. he joined because he got drafted in 1967. and he went to his father who had been a merchant marine during world war ii and watch the marines land in the witch and the. one night he came home and said
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i joined the marines. are you nuts? are you crazy? that, i got drafted. the army is going to see me doing the non. i figured families will teach me how did not die whereas the army will use me as cannon fodder. anyway, these are some of the kids that boom, not with a person a change between ambassador nt, but now the city of saigon is turning into a churning, broiling, chaotic mess. they have to keep it together. so the original plan was everybody from the embassy was going to go over to the defense attaché's office and will helicopter out from there. they said no, that's not going to happen. you know people will run to the flag. we can't get to these choked streets. saigon is now like don king. -- than non. they were very pissed off at the americans who are obviously leaving. so all day, this is going on,
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the ambassador had henry kissinger on his side. kissinger, graham martin and kissinger were kind of left over and they said if nixon were still in office we would be given general deng a good dose of vitamin b-52. but nixon got impeached and gerald ford want to wash his hands of it. they kept stalling. finally, the marines, the marine high commands, the secretary of defense and gerald ford convinced ambassador martin and kissinger it's time to get out. so, so begins the day, april 29, 1975 of just manic helicopters in, out. small arms fire the entire time either coming from snipers. they could see it. the msg's are up on the road. they're working 24 hours
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shoveling classified information into this furnace. they could see, take a look over the roof and see firefights between the nva who are still fighting. are still standing tall and funny. they're watching the firefights while their shoveling. they shall the $5 million in cash into the furnace of. american cash. who knows how many. i remember there was a story that steve schiller wanted to steal some of that money but i think someone stopped him. but that was a false story anyway. so all day long this goes on. so finally during the daylight hours they managed to clear out the defense attaché's office. the marines and the small platoon over the embassy, now the only thing that is left in the city is wonderful outpost, united states embassy, three square mile outpost, and the crowds around it which had been 2000, which had been 10,000,
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which had been 50,000 are now 60,000, and a lot of them are armed and a lot of them are key often shoulder. the crowd is searching. some the story. i know we don't have time here tonight with some the stories, jim kean and valdez and mike sullivan are kind of like the little dutch boy. they are plugging holes in the die. no, they're coming over the wall. lock that keep your lock that key. that kaiser stand there and have to live in america. american reporters, american state department guys. and third party nationals, our allies. they are standing at the gate and editing people over the cage but while they are doing, people are coming up to them and their opening bags of jewels, or krugman's. big john's looks to understate bag of krugman's. he knew the krugman's. this woman, her husband making
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way through the crowd with his elbows. the woman is giving something. looks like a little he says oh, no, sure enough, they get close, the husband takes it, it is a baby that is call scott on the barbwire. one of the msg's runs up, and looks at. drops it back down. can't ticketing. people are coming up. this are heartbreaking stories. mr. knock them up to an msg and he got close enough to the gate. he's kind of a with old man and he is old he and his army jacket on. a row of metal. he pulls a invalid out of his pocket and he slips it to and what the msg's opens it up and it's from the officers club dated 1967. it says mr. na has served not only his country but the united states of america well. please consider that when you deal with mr. na. mr. na had one arm and he starts, he starts washing dishes, wash dishes.
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and i remember the msg just turned around and said who am i to play god? who am i to say yes, you can come in? and in the meanwhile, all the vietnamese that are in there, like 1000 inside the compound, they are all the fat cuts. the sons of politicians that didn't have to go into the army that bought their way out. fatcats with suitcases, and you know what's in those suitcases. they are smuggling of gold, jewels, money. and these poor msg's, there on the gates. i have to make this decision, but, you know, what? even though they were kids they had to make this decision. these are 19, 20 year-old kids were put in this position. who joined the marines to fight for the country. to fight in vietnam for their country. and now they're put in this position by the politicians and even the brass. las..
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>> these helicopter pilots were just magnificent. you've seen them land like this or this, and the only room they had was to come straight down. if he couldn't get air, come five off or straight up.
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one crash, and boom, there goes your chopper and the evacuation is over. they come in on the roof, come in below, it's total chaos, and finally, gerald ford says we have to get the ambassador october there. what the hell is he still doing there? he was supposed to be there 12 hours ago. he won't leave, president ford. what do you mean he won't leave? this is going on in washington when one of my favorite characters in the book, jerry berry, a looks like a movie star, flying 18 hours, lands on a ussdubuque and says colonel, you will take the ambassador on your next run. yes, sir, you don't ask why. we don't ask a three-star why.
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yes, sir, i will is the answer. >> [inaudible] >> he gets in and flies in and he and the co-pilot taking small arms fire. a monsoon, they can't use the 45 and 5500 lanes anymore, and now they are flying ground level so they have to fly under the clouds. what are they going to do? i don't know, we'll think of something. they land on the roof, he's got the scratch pad here, scribbles something on it and one of the guards says, yes, what's this? he said direct orders from the president, i'm not leaving this roof until i have the ambassador. he is like, oh, shoot -- sure enough, he's there for a good 20 minutes, ambassador comes out, give him the flag, and even at this point, poor, broken, grand martin realizing that it's time
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to go. word comes, the msg's still manning the walls while at the same flight there's a message from the flight, button it up top. looks over, and not only are there still 10,000 people trying to get in, but there's 400 people who already got in. don't even say anything, just looks at him and says orders, button it up. all the marines get together and case rail by -- casually balk -- back into the embassy, gets violent, i won't tell you how, but gets messy, disconnect the elevators, a few fleet marines are mixed in with the marine security guards. they get up to the roof, boom, all hell breaks lose down downstairs. the heart breaking thing, people
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outside the gates stole a struck, broke through the gates and the big doors and made their way up the stairs on the 6th floor. some marines are looking over and the 400 left, who were supposed to get out are standing there. they called them sticks, just standing there with their luggage and wives waiting for the americans to come and save them. once again, i'm telling you, they were broken hearted up there, and so what happened is we get -- there was a brief pause where the helicopters stood down because of flying time and even bigger marine general, a medal of honor winner put out an order says anyone who doesn't get my marines, i'm court marshalling. they started flying again, come in, there's no more -- can't get downstairs, comes in, jim keen
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does a head count, he realized strippedded to their vests, helmets, weapons, he says i'm not going to get my men in, not my msg's. he said, give me men i can die with. these helicopters take off. there's 11 men left on the roof. two minutes later the sun comes up. the irony is several, it's the most beautiful sunrise that they've -- it's beautifully clear day of the month, monsoon clears, beautiful sunrise they've ever seen in their life, and in washington, henry kissinger holds a press conference, gets up at the podium where two years before, he announced peace of our time, and then announces all americans who wanted to to be out of south
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vietnam are out. when he says some, some wanted to be left behind. he walks off, the aide whispers saying we have 11 marines unaccounted for. what do you mean? in the confusion, what happened was when the ambassador went out at 3:48 a.m., the tiger is out, the tiger is out of his cage. in the original evacuation plan, the ambassador was going to be the last to leave so they were still working on that, oh, the tiger's out of the cage, there's nobody left, so the 11th marine security guards, mike sullivan, eight dedicated kids, but eight kids up on this roof. they barricaded the door. dawn comes and small arms fire increases. coming from mba snipers,
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probably a little bit. valdez is counting weapons, everybody has an m-16, a side arm, a couple shotguns here, .250 caliber machine guns. he says this is nothing, we have 150 # ,000 hardened angry soldiers out there. jim senses ten other marine security guards are wondering where's our chopper. he said, listen, here's the deal, general duong does not want to start a war with the united states. if he kills us, he starts a war with the united states, but you know what? i've been in action, and small units, things go wrong, so there could be a small unit fight. we don't know what it coming through the door next. it could be mva. i don't want you firing back at anyone. i want your as in the dirt.
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i want everybody laying low, and i want everybody on their toes. we're going to get out of here, but he didn't believe it himself, and in the action report, he wasn't sure. there's just -- steve bauer and msg from long island smuggled two bottles, carried it for two walks, a bottle of johnny walker black and a bottle of johnny walker red. they sit indian style in a circle and they pass the bottles around. top and major keen are over in the corner saying what's going on, major? i don't know, top, but we have to come up with contingency plans. the agency itself had a rocket screen. it was a concrete lattice work to obviously deflect rockets. they say, do you think we can climb down there? rope? we don't have any rope. chain? what do you think? as they speak, keen sees
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something is going on in the circle. top, go see what's going on. valdez walks over just to time to here them say no tiger cage is for me. we're going to take a vote right now. if those groups are going to take my dog tags, i want them to have to dig through them before they can get their hands on them. let's take a vote. the marine corp. is not a democracy as you well know, but they know what's going on, valdez knows what's going on. they take a vote. it's unanimous. they vote to fight. they will not become prisoners. valdez is thinking they are not going to waste more men on us. they're watching thompson. they are just going to raise the notch on the gunfights a little
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bit. two or three shells, and we're all dead up here, so think kind of dispersed. the sun is up now and getting hotter, and all the msg's dispersed. there's a clear field of fact fire, down in the stairwell, and the british embassy across the street, maybe they'll take fire. a hard scrabble kid, grew up, had a dickens childhood, mother committed suicide, trying to kill his two brothers, failed, killed herself, blew up the house. his father was an alcoholic remitted them out to share farmers. the marine corp. was the only family he had ever known, and he's looking around and looking around at the 10 other marines. it's like 11 frayed nerve ends. we're ail connected, more than
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being brothers and loving each other, we are each other. we are each other. dave norman, a 19-year-old from ohio is up on the helo pad and can hear the clanking of the soviet tanks that the mva's are using and the treads clanking over the new port bridge, and thinks, i don't mind dying with them men, i just. to see my mom and dad before i die. if i die, i'm proud to die with these men. steve bower, or steve schuler, once earlier in the day they opened the gates to let in american reporters, and steve was at the end, rushed at with a gun and bayoneted them. he stuck his finger in there, went to about there, lost consciousness for a moment, and stuck a dirty rag in there, but he wouldn't evacrate without his
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guys. he's picking through the clothes looking for a clean t-shirt or at least not a dirty one to stuff the wound he has. these men are all alone with their thoughts. top valdez thinking of his two teenage boys, not much younger than the guys he's with. he's thinking how proud he is if they die out there and somebody tell this story. the sun is getter higher, it's getting hotter. there's silence on the roof, and the next thing that happens -- well, if you want to know what happens, read the book. [laughter] thank you very much for coming tonight. i appreciate it. [applause] i'll take questions, but i'd like to read something first, actually two things. i think a few of you know in my day job so to speak, i'm down range with men's health
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magazine, iraq, afghanistan many times and i run into the msg's, the legacy of the msg's guarding consulates and imbaa sighs all around the world, and frankly, i'm not worried about kabul and baghdad. i'm been to chad and darfur and tashkent and liberia, and these kids that are over there, and they are kids. they are kids today like they were kids back then. these kids over there that are kind of guarding, not kind of, guarding the embassies, no matter how you feel, and i don't want to know about our military ventures overseas. they are the best trained marines, the most dedicated marines, and just like the marines, the heroic marines, i think, they will never say it, but just like the heroic marines
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from saigon in 1975, that legacy continues in the msg, the marine security guard units, and i don't know how you feel about overseas ventures, but it's something we can all be proud of, and i am. >> hoorah. >> you know i told you about the guy who lived up the street, steve, he took that bayonet and wouldn't leave, and you know, says it's nothing. you can give him a hand, he's sitting right over there. [applause] >> i noticed he fronded when he said, yeah, going to steal money, and i didn't see a smile on his face, and i was like oh, no. >> anyway, any questions? >> that was yesterday, and today's today. >> yes. >> i'm assuming you drew conclusions while doing the
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research? >> you know the main conclusion i drew? i'm sorry -- >> did we learn anything? >> that's just it. you know, the one thing i don't think we learned -- no, i'm not privy to, you know, and i know, we both know we have evacuation plans for every hot spot and every snake pit in the world, but the one thing i do not think we have learned, and i have no proof or documentation of this, but just from traveling in the countries and being down range, we trusted south vietnam too much. this was a -- we thought they would help us get out, and i think we might be putting the same trust in baghdad and kabul, and i don't think that trust is justified. that's the only way i can answer that question. anybody else? well, listen, thank you all for coming. i appreciate it. if you have a book you want me to sign, i'll be glad to, and thanks. no questions for steve?
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wait a min, hold on, no questions for steve? [laughter] yeah, yeah, everybody else says up to here, just a little nick. like i got hurt shaving. [laughter] anyway, thank you again. i appreciate it. [applause] you know what, for the hell of it, you don't have to film this, but i'll show you. there's general dunog in the younger days, ruthless guy. after we got out, he was in charge of that, and he retired -- they didn't hang or shoot him which is how they usually retired these guys. ambassador martin, that's not a good photo of him. that's a photo of how sick he was at the time. he was not a well man. major jim keen who was in the war and in charge of the --
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looks 14, charles mcmahon. top vez. does he look like on amtrak guy? i met him -- well, i'm not telling you the end. i guess you know now that they lived so, generic photo, and there's a good -- nick which democratic dick cheney, president ford, run down the river from the only consulate we had, had to fight -- this says canto yacht club, six marines and the consul who not only looks like, but acted like him. typical story. there's mike sullivan, nice glasses, huh? this is right when they formed the v and backing up and like look at that, that's nuts. that's going down the river.
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actually that at the time was corporal, steve, and he went on to become the longest serving united states marine in the history of the marine corp.. he fought in iraq and afghanistan, just got out last february. handsome jerry berry, the chopper pilot, still handsome. these are the boys on the roof. burn battles. anything they could not burn, they put in the burn barrels and the chemicals burned it. who is that, steve? is that you? [laughter] that's steve. he's counting that cash he stole. [laughter] iconic photo. everything -- 18 hours before -- yes, ma'am? >> especially from the story that you're telling now, but how well do you think that our president nixon, gerald ford,
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and then johnson, how well do you think they knew what was going on in >> i think they knew very well. >> you do? you think their information was accurate? >> oh, yeah. they admitted this was a civil war we shouldn't have ever got involved in. the dichotomy of the book, people asked me how can we put the word "heroic" in the book about the vietnam war. i'm not writing about the vietnam war. that's been written about by smarter people than me. i'm writing about a heroic evacuation, a 36-hour period where kids like steve, ordinary men under extraordinary circumstances, but, yes, i think the presidents knew and that's why i think ford wanted nothing to do with it. yes, sir? >> i spent a lot of my time updating the kip rosters. >> all right. >> key indigenous personnel. how many actually made it out? >> well, 50,000 made it out.
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>> okay. >> but the only figures we have about who didn't make it out was the north vietnam admitted that they sent, i think it was 182,000 to reeducation camps, and they were just hell holes, starvation, so we'll never know how many died, but we got close to 50,000 out. >> because the vietnam navy loaded up the ships and sent them out the saigon river. >> that was -- yeah, right, before that. >> that's how my counterpart got out. i met him, and i met the planes planes -- >> thank you for your service. i appreciate it. once again, i appreciate you for coming. what's your name? >> jack.
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>> captain jack. retired. >> do you read all these? >> [inaudible] [laughter] [laughter] >> all the pictures showed are in the book, so they are for sale here, and i'll be signing them on the other side of the store to tell the story. hopefully you'll take it home with you. thank you very much for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> book tv has over 100,000 twitter followers. be a part of the excitement. follow booktv on twitter to talk directly with authors during our live programming. twitter.com/booktv. >> i'm a doctor, and that's what
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obstetrics is. you sit around, hang around, and the word means to stand by. that's what it means, to stand by. many hours standing by, waiting for patients to deliver, and it's interrupted by five or six minutes of chaos, and that's obstetrics. i became the doctor my father and mothermented me to be. i have the ring, i am dr. thorton, but the title of this book, "something to prove" is another reason while i thought the playing field was level, i looked after i got the ring and found there was another rock wall that i had to climb, and that consisted of racism and sexism and male chauvinism. you can whine or do what you know how to do. a nurse yelled, doctor thorton,
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you need to come in. it's in the my patient, i don't know what's going on in the delivery rook, but what was happening there's another obstetrician in trouble. now, the baby's head was down, but not coming out and the heart rate was going down. get somebody, i need help, go outside, get anybody, i need help. the nurse came out, dragged me in, and i came into the delivery room, and the obstetrician looked at me and says, what is she going to do? all he saw was a black woman. he did not know i was a double board certified paternal medical specialist. i said can i have a forceps with an extraction handle. i said excuse me, may i sat down, applied the forceps and delivered the baby. my job was done, got up, left the room, an the only person following me running after me to thank me was the husband of the
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wife, not the obstetrician, but the husband, and so that's what i'm saying. you don't expect to be loved. you don't expect to be part of the in crowd, and yes, i'm a woman of color and something to prove is always something to prove and when you're a woman in a male dominated profession, there's always something to prove. you can be from the wrong country, the wrong school, you can be short, fat, greek, it doesn't make a difference, but if you are not welcomed, what are you going to do about? you always have something to prove. i'm a woman, a mother, and i'm a wife, so with me, there's another layer of responsibility. now, we have powerful women today, powerful women. we have a surgeon general that's a woman. we have supreme court justices that are women. conned lisa rice, secretary of state. in my position there was another level of responsibility, and that is having kids. now, what do you do? again, at the same hospital, i
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delivered 5:30 in the afternoon, ripping off my clothes, get back home, what's for dinner? my male colleague was in the doctor's lounge just relaxing. i said, peter, it's 5:30, don't you need to get home? oh, no, no, i'll let peggy feed and put the kids down and i'll go home at eight o'clock. i said, well, that's not me, i'm racing down route 80, get home, what's for dinner, get the shoes for my son, the artwork from my daughter, and that's the difference from being a woman and a woman profession na. society expects us to be moms, but i wanted to be an obstetrician. my mom said no amount of success in your profession cannot make up for you being a failure at home. many are wealthy, but have children are lost to suicide and emotional disturbances.
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the move i made had to incorporate my children. you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> now onbooktv, a panel discussion on the life and work of african-american history scholar manning. this is just under two hours. >> good evening, and welcome to the central library. i'm carla hayden, and we're very, very pleased to have all of you here tonight for this special evening, and we just want to say a special hello to c-span's booktv viewers who may be tuning in. when we originally booked manning several months ago, we were, as you can imagine, very excited to have him here in baltimore and to hear him discuss as much anticipated
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landmark claus, malcolm x, the life of reinvention. we were heart broken when we heard he became ill and passed away days before that monumental book was released, but we stillmented to honor him and his work and definitely his life, so thanks to a lifelong library supporter, mark steiner, we alived at this event tonight, and we are really honored to have the people we have on our panel tonight. we know it's going to be a great tribute to a great man, but before we get started, we have a very special guest here who we want to come up to say a few words. manning's stepdaughter, malia.
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[applause] >> good evening, everyone. >> goos evening. >> on behalf of my stepfather and rest of my family, i'd like to welcome you to this wonderful event. i'm happy to see you here who honor him and his legacy. he would be pleased to know how many people cared about him, found inspiration in his work and found truth in his scholarship. for manning, the last process was a ten year labor of love. when i had the time to go to n, my first question was his health, and second question was how was malcolm? he shared with us the latest interview or or civile discovery with admiration in his voice. you couldn't help but be as excited as he was. i'm sad not to see him here, but he finished it, and while we have this without him, he'd be happy we can at least do this.
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thank you, all, for coming. [applause] >> thank you so much. we really appreciate you being here tonight with us. now i'd like to introduce the moderator of tonight's tribute. many of you hear him every day on weaa radio, part of the pratt library family, and one of the most active board members. please welcome mr. mark steiner. [applause] >> good evening, everybody. >> good evening. >> and welcome. i'm glad you all showed up for this this evening. it's important to add on to what our leader of the library said when we realized that mr. manning had passed, somebody i knew in passing, a great human being, powerful thinker. we decided that we couldn't just